When the Oxford Dictionary pronounced “selfie” the 2013 Word of the Year, I was shocked at first. “It’s such an ugly non-word,” I thought. But then it dawned on me: it completely made sense. This word reflected a cultural shift: the ubiquity of smartphones, and society’s acceptance of our obsession with photographing ourselves and sharing them pretty much everywhere.
This year, as in the past two years, I invited colleagues, friends and Twitter followers to suggest words that deserve to be retired because they are silly, overused, meaningless or just plain annoying. Several people this year proposed selfie. But I disagree: compared to the others on this year’s list, I think selfie deserves to stay. It’s relevant, concise and means-what-it-says.
My top vote for the word that most demands a swift and severe dismissal from our vernacular is twerk. In fact, the readers of TIME agree: almost 27 percent voted that twerk be banished in 2014. After all, I think we all need to put those images of Miley Cyrus performing peak twerking at the VMA Awards behind us and move on.
This year, our list of words to retire also includes these that have fallen prey to being over-colloquial, overused to the point of becoming meaningless or just irrelevant:
- FOMO (“Fear of missing out”)
- Cra Cra
- Bitch (Thanks in no small part to Jesse from Breaking Bad)
When it comes to media reporting, 2013 offered up many words and phrases that were repeated so often that they stung, irritated and confused us. I’m sure we all wish to never have to read or hear them again. They include:
- Shelter in place
- Fiscal cliff
- Debt ceiling
- Thanksgivukkah (Fear not, we won’t be hearing this one for another 70,000 years!)
To read the rest of this post, please head on over to: www.inkhouse.net/words-to-retire-in-2014...